Diana Bulls

The Iced Tea Pitcher: A Summer Icon

by Diana Bulls

Summer is truly upon us. Three digit days are to be expected in the Central Valley and many of us are relying on time-tested measures to get us through the heat of the day. Some people are lucky enough to have air conditioning or a backyard pool. I live in an old house--air conditioning was unheard of in 1910. We also gave up the pool when we moved into town. So I have to rely on my ceiling fans and iced tea.

Hair Receivers: A Collectible Curiosity

by Diana Bulls

One of the most curious items to be found on a Victorian lady’s dressing table was a hair receiver. This was a small bowl with a hole in the lid. It was often part of a dressing table set, with a matching powder box. And why you ask, would anyone need a hair receiver? Well, some kind of receptacle was needed to collect and save the hair that accumulated in a lady’s brush or comb after the required daily 100 strokes.

So What Do the Irish Eat on Saint Paddy’s Day?

by Diana Bulls

Now that I am retired and on the proverbial fixed income, I am paying more attention to the grocery store sale ads. This week, I noticed cabbage was on sale. Cooked cabbage is not a favorite with my family (except in bierocks and that’s because they don’t realize its cabbage), but every St. Patrick’s Day I put on the green and serve up corned beef and cabbage for dinner along with a spicy honey mustard sauce. I tell them we are celebrating our Irish heritage (17% on Jim’s side, 20% on my side).

Kitchen Collectibles: Pixies in the Kitchen

by Diana Bulls

I really love all those strange and funny ceramics produced in Japan during the pre war days and immediately afterwards. Before I decided to start down-sizing my collections, my kitchen shelves were filled with pitchers, tea sets and odd little condiment sets. I have managed to pare my collection down to a couple of tea sets and about six or seven pitchers, along with an egg cup and some pie birds. Still, whenever I visit an antique or thrift store I am compelled to check out the kitschy Japanese ceramics.

Christmas Kitchen Crafts

by Diana Bulls

December is here, the air is frosty and Christmas is just around the corner. What a great time to gather the kids (or the grandkids) in the kitchen for some family crafting. Here are some fairly simple ideas for a variety of tree ornaments straight from your pantry and the grocery store.

Collecting Cook Books: Read ‘Em and Eat!

by Diana Bulls

So, you probably didn’t even realize it, but you might already have a cook book collection sitting on one of your kitchen shelves. You might own a cook book by Betty Crocker, Fanny Farmer or Better Homes and Gardens that you got for a shower or wedding gift – a good, basic cookbook with lots of how-to pictures. You might have a couple of cook books put out by your church or a local ladies club, and then there are those advertising cook books from companies like Pillsbury, Campbell’s Soup or Jell-O.

Happy Birthday Pyrex!

by Diana Bulls

Pyrex, one of the most popular kitchen collectibles ever, turned 100 years old in May. I love Pyrex, and I’m not alone; there are literally hundreds of collectors out there. My favorite piece is a red “Hostess Dish” with lid, followed by my Mom’s primary colored mixing bowls (both from the 1940s). I first wrote about Pyrex back in 2012 (Pyrex: A Kitchen Staple Since 1915), but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to pay homage again to “America’s Favorite Dish.”

Spring, Easter, Jell-O and Salad Molds: Kitchen Collectibles

by Diana Bulls

Spring has sprung, and Easter is just around the corner. My family, along with many others, will be gathering after church to celebrate this first holiday in spring. And those gatherings are sure to include food. For my family, Easter is usually a potluck buffet on the patio. My brother furnishes the ham and the rest of us bring the baked beans, deviled eggs, Jell-O salad and desserts. Yes, I did say Jell-O salad. It’s a tradition.

Kitchen Kitsch: Kitchen Collectibles

by Diana Bulls

The end of World War II called for a big party. Soldiers and sailors were coming home; families were being reunited and it seemed that the worries of the 1930s and early 40s were over. All of the home front effort in war production had helped pull the country out of the depression. There were more jobs with better pay. Rationing was over and Americans wanted to spend money. For the first time, in a long time, any American housewife could buy something that wasn’t necessary or needed to run a household.



powered by TinyLetter